tv CNN Newsroom CNN December 20, 2011 1:00pm-3:00pm EST
rose parade. >> back in 2008, hernan's portrait was on our float. this year arnold will be a float rider. >> i see especially in megan it's something that gives her a boost and a spark in life. >> this means the world to me. i'm thankful that i have my donor family in my life. >> translator: we met megan seven years after hernan died. she brought a light into our life. she was living proof what organ donation actually brings. >> thank you, i love you. >> thank you for caring about my son. >> cnn newsroom continues right now with randi kaye. >> hello everyone, it is 1:00 on the east coast. let's get straight to the news. your paycheck and benefits may be cut and your taxes may go up
all because congress can't agree on another very important issue, that is payroll tax cuts. congress is in a political standoff right now. the senate passed a two-month extension a moment ago. house republicans rejected that in a procedural vote and are pushing a one year extension. keep in mind payroll tax cuts and extended unemployment benefits expire in less than two weeks. >> our members do not want to just punt and do a two-month short term fix where we have to come back and do this again. we're here, we're willing to work. >> it's just a radical tea party republicans who are holding up this tax cut for the american people and jeopardizing our economic growth. >> but what's the real problem? we'll talk to republican strategist ron christy to get answers. if you're heading west, check the forecast. people in a number of states are dealing with, yes, this, blizzard warnings are in effect
from colorado to kansas, oklahoma and texas. according to forecasters, travel is dangerous if not impossible for many. heavy know and winds up to 50 miles per hour were reported in some areas. here's a live satellite image of the storm. the system has forced five states to shut down interstates and highways. we will keep an eye on that. now to north korea, the body of kim jong il lies in state at the memorial palace in pyongyang. his youngest son kim jong-un paid his respects much this his first public appearance since his faerng died on saturday. the regime appears to be kicking up the prop began da to portray him as the leader. >> iran released this video, the iranians say he was caught spying for the cia. the state department is seeking his freedom. the official did not comment on
the spy allegations citing privacy allegations, his father told abc news that the spy allegations are in his words a bunch of lies. another day of bloody clashes in tahrir square. witnesses say at least two people were killed. here's what it was like yesterday. 14 people have been killed since the latest clashes erupted friday, just after the second round of parliamentary elections. protesters accuse the military of delaying the transfer of power to a civilian government. a million women march took place to protest the beating of a female protester seen in this vide video. the military says it's investigating. in syria, anyone taking part in terrorist acts or hands out weapons will be executed. this as anti-government took to the streets of a southern city.
a hul an rights groups says 60 to 70 armed defectors were gunned down. a london based group says another 40 civilians were killed yesterday. the government says it's cracking down on terrorists who attack security forces. lori beren sen is back in the united states for the first time for 16 years. in 1995 a court convicted her acollaborating with left wing terrorists, a charge she continues to deny. she is currently on parole and under court order to return to peru after the holidays. in the wikileaks court-martial case, a formal colleague says manning was uncontrollable and untrust worthy when he served in an army intelligence office. he is accused of leaking secrets to the website. a colleague says manning was barred from the intelligence office after he punched her in the face unprovoked. she testified by telephone today
in maryland. they are home. some of the last 300 airmen to leave iraq arrived this morning in baltimore washington airport. they were greeted with cheers and hugs and handshakes as they walked into the terminal. >> i'll tell you what, it's overwhelming to know that americans are still after all of these years supporting us, it's a great feeling. >> what is it like being one of the last flights out? >> wow, i have six deployments over 1400 days in the iraq theater. i'm pretty exhausted and ready to go home and call it a day. >> 230 airmen were aboard the flight that arrived this morning. 70 more will arrive tonight. finger pointing and bickering and refusals to talk, it is not your child's sandbox, it is capitol hill. what's all the fuss about? only your paycheck. what's happening this hour on payroll tax when we return. did you know a small number of troops are staying in iraq,
fewer than 200 military personnel are staying back to guard the u.s. embassy and oversee the sale of weapons to the iraqi government. 170,000 soldiers and marines to about 200, to those brave men and women staying behind to protect our embassy this holiday season, you are total rock stars. let's go to vegas. alright, let's do it. let's do it, let's go to vegas. vegas baby! maybe we should head back to the dealership first? vegas! no, this is a test drive. vegas! [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a jetta. that's the power of german engineering. get zero first month's payment, zero down, zero security deposit and zero due at signing on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com.
and its mega failure to do its one job, chalk up solutions to cut the federal deficit. now it seems congress is playing a dangerous political game with your money. take a good look at your paycheck. in congress doesn't do its job and can't agree to extend the payroll tax cut, this is how much you could lose depending on your income, of course, if you make $50,000 a year, you'll have to shell out an extra $1,000 in taxes. the more you make, the more you stand to pay. you see it there. this gives you a glimpse of what's at stake. we don't have to tell you every dollar counts but maybe congress yet again needs another reminder. the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits will expire on december 31st. we're just days away. the bigger picture, some economists predicted these benefits could send the kple into a tailspin. less than ten minutes ago the house essentially rejected that extension in a procedural vote. instead, it's pushing for a one-year extension as called for
by the gop leadership. let's bring in ron christy, a special assistant to president bush. i think it's important to note -- >> nice to see you. >> the senate's vote for a two-no extension was bipartisab. what is the problem here? >> i think good afternoon, randi, i think what you're seeing here, congress has not been able to get its work done this entire year. a two-month payroll tax extension will not do hardly anything other than breed a lot of uncertainty. there was a report that came out this morning that said that a lot of companies and businesses across the country aren't equippeded to recalibrate their computer and their accounting system to deal with two months. business owners and people who are holding the books and watching them carefully need greater certainty. that's what the house republicans are saying, let's do this for a year. president obama agreed it should be a year. house democrats of course came together it should be a year. now you're seeing political
posturing by saying two months. i don't think that's a sufficient amount of time. >> i think we get it. john boehner said and this is his word here, we don't want to punt and do a two-month short term fix. we get that but harry reid says that he followed john boehner's request. so saying this, when we met last week speaker bone e boner reque that we work out a compromise. so it is sounding a little bit like what the house has done here is a bit of a political move. isn't a two-month extension better than americans seeing a tax increase? >> well, of course, i don't want to see anybody's taxes go up on december 31st. i think a two-month extension while it sounds good, of not of course increasing taxes is only kicking the can a little bit down the road. i'm very concerned do we have the capability to recalibrate our computers and will it make
that much of a difference. what they need to do in washington, sit in a room. the president and speaker and the senate majority leader and get this done. they did do it. they should put the posturing aside and theatrics aside and say what can we do best with the american people. that's why people are so disgusted with the leadership in washington, it seems like they are throwing sand. they need the responsibility to do the american people's business and do it now. >> i want to play a sound bite for viewers and you of what nancy pelosi made a very interesting point. i want to ask you about it. >> what we see now is stalling action. on the part of those who never really were for a payroll tax cut in the first place. it's just the radical tea party republicans who are holding up this tax cut -- >> so radical tea party
republicans. is that how you see it? do you think they are so-called radical tea party republicans to use her words are holding this up? >> i don't. i think the reason that nancy pelosi is now the minority leader as opposed to speaker of the house, the american people said we're taxed too much and government expanded too much and the government is not responsive to the american people from washington. and i think what you've seen in the house of representatives is the members and i do think that john boehner did have an agreement with the majority leader in the senate, but his body of house rpz republicans said, no, it's not going to do enough to help the american people. let's make sure that the burden is for 12 months. and i think that's the reflection of the will of a lot of people. remember, there are half a million, 600,000 living in each congressional district, they are representing the will of those folks who sent them to washington. i don't think it's stonewalling or posturing. >> some people might look at this, where was this one year
agreement or measure weeks ago? why is this happening right now? where have they been? >> couldn't agree with you more. i think the president was in his rush to go too hawaii for 17 days and the senate majority leader said we won't have any more votes, we're done. that's why the american people are really frustrated with what's going on in washington. don't go on vacation. sit down and have a civil discussion and do the best for republicans and democrats and for the american people, not just your political party. that's where the distrust comes from. that's why i'm disappointed they didn't get it done a few weeks ago and they need to get it done now. >> we want to let you now we're awaiting a white house briefing on this and many other issues. the briefing room at the white house, we'll bring it to you as soon as it's gets under way. >> here's something that will make you stop. coffee enemas to treat cancer.
what if i said more than half a million tax dollars went to aids research, pretty good use of money, right? >> what if i told you it was examining if distant prayer could heal aids? it's called the national center for complimentary and alternative medicine or nccam. an unheard of branch and used more than $1.2 billion in federal money to study alternative medicine. some see it as vital. others want taxpayer dollars saved for more mainstream science.
joining me now dr. josephine brigz and dr. atwood, practicing an he is teaseologist who thinks it should be abolished. thank you very much for joining me on this very interesting conference. dr. briggs, some of your center's work might appear to some as a waste of money. can you justify studies ranging from healing wounds to sniffing lemons and lavender? >> randi, the studies you mentioned are not representative of more than a thousand more than 3,000 study we have funded. we consider it our job to bring rigorous critical science to the study of health practices widely used by americans. our data tells us that people are spending about $34 billion on these health practices.
and that they are used by more than 40% of americans. so there's some really important health issues here. are these approaches safe? do they work? and that's been the topic of about 3,000 studies. a few of ones that have been chosen to emphasized by our critics are i think not representative of the high quality rigorous science that's being brought to really important health questions. >> dr. atwood, what is your response? especially hearing now from dr. brigs, that 40% of americans are using some type of alternative medicine. shouldn't we know what's going on with that? >> well, that's always what the positive proponents of such research say. of course it's a great exaggeration. in fact, most of that 40% is just dabling in over the counter supplements and that sort of
thing. as far as the representation of the types of studies that are done is concerned, the ones you mentioned at the outset are quite representative of what the ncaam has done over the years. it's true she seems to want to change that. but it's a little hard for her to come out and say, this is what we used to say and we're no longer doing that. we would love for her to come out and say, yes, we agree those kinds of studies were a bad idea. they were an attempt to study nonsense and never should have been done. and i'd love to hear her say that. maybe she will right now. >> dr. briggs, would you like to respond to that? help us understand what gets study and what doesn't and if things have changed? we have a compelling vision i think right now of priority setting. nih priority setting processes
that have been used since the beginning depend on a panel of experts, we call this process peer review for setting priorities. we go through and of the 3,000 study that's we funded approximately, the ones that you're mentioning and that are mentioned by our critics are really not representative. we have taken on a lot of important safety issues and eye lot of issues around herb drug interactions, for example, work funded by ncam studies that st. john's wort interferes with hiv therapies and the dangers of ee fed ra and led the fda to withdraw it from the u.s. market. even more important, work on pain management and important studies that show that some of the complimentary approaches are
helpful in management of pain is changing how doctors and patients approach a very big and common problem, chronic back pain. it is a big focus for us right now. >> obviously you're both very passionate about where you stand. we appreciate your time. we will continue to follow this research and see what more does come of it. for more on the research and budget, check out their web page nccam.nih.gov. piers morgan answering questions today about what went on at quts news of the world during his watch. what he had to say next. that's why every day we help people across the country get into their first homes. prepare for a comfortable retirement and protect the people and things that matter most. at genworth we believe every day is the right day to take a step toward tomorrow.
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cnn talk show host piers morgan usually asks the question. but today he answered some about the phone hacking scandal that is rocking britain. in a testing exchange at times he said he was unaware of hacking while he was at the newspaper. morgan also served as editor at that now closed paper. he testified by video link from the united states. dan rivers is covering the hearing in london. dan, things did get a little heated between piers and the investigators there. >> reporter: they did, yeah, the most sort of testy part of this exchange between piers morgan and robert jay, one of the lawyers asking the questions here was about piers morgan listening in to the voice mail of heather mills, the wife of sir paul mccartney. piers morgan was very careful, he didn't want to reveal any
further details about the circumstances in which he listened to that voicemail message because he didn't want to reveal the source of that story. and in the end, the justice presiding over this said he may call heather mills herself to see if she gave permission for piers morgan to listen to her voicemail. he reiterated while he was aware of the rumor mill that phone hacking was widespread in tabloid culture here, he says he never knew about it, condoned it or asked anyone to do it or publish any story as a result of phone hacking while he was in charge of two different newspapers here in the u.k. >> piers did refuse to answer some questions. how did that go over? >> reporter: yeah, i mean, he was asked about a number of different incidents, not only allegedly listening to the
voicemail messages of heather mills but also allegedly listening into the voice mail messages of johnson, who is a tv producer here, his pain are revealed was having an affair. and warned her to change her pin code to stop people listening in. he said he could remember, he was challenged about the evidence of a former employee, james hipwell, who says that he remembers that phone hacking was going on as a matter of routine, happening every day at the daily mirror. but piers morgan pointed out that james hipwell had been convicted for insider trading and that basically sort of casting doubt on his evidence, again reiterating he was completely unaware phone hacking was going on at "the daily mirror" while he was editor. >> i want to play for the
viewers the back and forth between piers and the investigators there. let's listen. >> at one stage i was played a tape of the message paul had left for heather on her mobile phone. can you remember the circumstances, mr. morgan? >> well, i can't discuss where i was or who played it to do so would be to compromise a source and i can't do that. >> you can discuss in general terms where it was, can't you? >> actually, no, i can't. >> it was a tape of a voicemail message, wasn't it? >> i'm not going to discuss where i heard it or who played it for me for the reasons i discussed. i don't think it's right and inquiry has already stated to me don't expect me to identify sources. >> we do expect you to identify what is obvious to anyone reading this, is that you
listened to a tape of a voicemail message, is that correct? >> i listened to tape of a message, yes. >> it was a voicemail message, wasn't it. >> i believed it was, yes. >> reporter: so there is now the intriguing prospect that heather mills will be called to that same inquiry to be asked whether she gave her permission for piers morgan to listen to her voicemail. there's a possibility piers morgan may be called back. other witnesses have been called back in the past as well. there is also the intriguing possibility he was sort of vaguely mentioned by lord justice levin son that james and rupert murdoch could be called. first, for you political junkies, the iowa caucuses are the first time the voters weigh in on the presidential
candidates but it hasn't always been that way. what year were the iowa caucuses first used to kick off the nomination process. 1932, 1916 or 1972? if you know the answer, send me a tweet. i'll give a shout out to the first person with the right answer when we come back. ♪ sen♪ co-signed her credit card - "buy books, not beer!" ♪ ♪ut the second at she shut the door ♪
♪ girl started blowing up their credit score ♪ ♪ she bought a pizza party for the whole dorm floor ♪ ♪ hundred pounds of makeup at the makeup store ♪ ♪ and a ticket down to spring break in mexico ♪ ♪ but her folks didn't know 'cause her folks didn't go ♪ ♪ to free-credit-score-dot-com hard times for daddy and mom. ♪
welcome back, a moment ago i asked you this, what year were the iowa caucuses first used to kick off the presidential nomination process. if you said c, 1972? you are right. a strong showing from south dakota senator george mcgovern put him on the national stage helping him win the democratic nomination. he lost to richard nixon. and a shoutout to adam in nashville, tennessee, one of the very first to tweet the right answer. nice going, adam. >> it's time for fair game, where we get to the meat of the political debate and partisan talking points are off limits. it looks like newt gingrich's big lead in the poll has evaporated and he blames the slide on his gop rivals. >> you've had all sorts of people and all sorts of these super pacts who have consistently been running negative ads.
well, you get enough negative ads before you answer your numbers go down. >> he's telling rivals to stop attack ads like this one but they are not listening. joining me now maria cardona and crystal wright. it seems as though certainly that gingrich's lead has eroded. does it appear the attack ads are working? >> certainly they are working and newt gingrich knows it. what's more, he knows this is something that has always worked in politics. it's very disingenuous for him to explain when he would be first ones to use attack ads if he had the money to do it. i had no doubt in my mind if he had the resources or infrastructure to put the attack ads against his own rivals, he would eviscerate them without a moment's hesitation. that is something he knows, he's
explaining because he doesn't have anywhere else to go or nothing else to do about it. >> let me turn to you on the issue of money. there are many groups that track this sort of stuff. one company says gingrich dropped $130,000 on television but if you look at the spending by romney and his supporters, it's more than a million dollars on ads, same goes for rick perry and the ron paul campaigns. can gingrich stop the slide in his numbers without cash? >> you know, i think he can. he needs to raise more money and maria hit the nail on the head. gingrich wouldn't be complaining if he was running the negative ads, he needs to step up and go negative and he needs to realize he's in the race of a lifetime. this is presidency of the united states. you've got to get down and dirty and get in the mud. he's got to go after romney on romney care and he's raised about -- i think he took an ad about $200,000 in iowa which pales in comparison to romney's
700,000. he's got to go negative. let's talk about the payroll tax cut issue. if you look at john boehner's actions, first he wanted the senate to put together a payroll tax cut plan, and a deal. then they did it and he rejected it. so what do you think needs to happen? right now we're getting word that boehner has asked president obama in a letter to appoint negotiators to try to work out a deal with the republican-led house. what needs to happen here? what's the problem here, maria? >> the problem is that speaker boehner has absolutely lost control of his tea party caucus. you know, randi, none of these republican legislators are supermen, but this decision that they took today is going to no doubt be their political krip to night. they can absolutely blame this if they go down in flames because what they are doing is putting politics before middle class americans before working class families who absolutely
desperately need this tax cut to not go away. and what they are saying is they want it for a year. you know what, we all want it for a year. that's what president obama has been talking about for months. we had the opportunity to do it for a year and we now have the opportunity to make sure that american families get the tax cut which they desperately need and work on doing it for a year by extending it for two months. the tea party caucus has absolutely decided to put politics before any policy. and what's more, speaker boehner has absolutely zero control over that tea party caucus, which makes him one of the worst speakers in american history. >> all right, crystal, very quickly, i mean, how do you think it is all playing out in terms of this, really just focusing on the freshmen members of the house, do they understand what's happening here? >> they absolutely understand. what the freshman tea party members understand is that they got speaker boehner his job.
they were able to tip the scale and put republicans back in the leadership in the house. i think maria is not being accurate here. even obama she points out said let's get it done for a year. so if senate democrats can do it for two months, they can hammer it out, nobody needs to go home for christmas and they need to get it done for a year. boehner is smart, taking a risk. at the end of the day he doesn't know what tricks the democrats are going to pull and tax experts have said, we need to get the deal done for a year. it's too confusing -- two months go by in a blink of an eye. it's an bandaid fix. >> even senate republicans are criticizing boehner for this. >> maria, no can do. crystal wright and maria, thanks so much. that is "fair game." 2011 was a year of remarkable events, royal weddings, tsunami and political twitter scandals. see if your list of the top
stories in 2011 matches ours. it's coming your way next. everyone believes in keeping their promises once a year. but we believe in helping people take steps to keep them every single day. that's why every day we help people across the country get into their first homes. prepare for a comfortable retirement and protect the people and things that matter most. at genworth we believe every day is the right day to take a step toward tomorrow. ♪
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entire country. >> martin savidge, we're following breaking news, a story out of tucson. several people have been shot. >> january 8th, tragedy in tucson as loughner goes on a rampage killing six and wounding 13, including congresswoman gabby giffords. >> police in egypt are clashing with protests. >> january 25th, egypt's tahrir square becomes the staging grounds for demonstrations and they demand hosni mubarak give up power. >> they are celebrating here tonight. >> gadhafi, the son of moammar gadhafi on libyan state television there basically warning the people of libya, saying this is not tunisia and things will go in a much different direction. >> february 16th, all eyes on
libya as anti-gadhafi protesters take to the streets in benghazi. a bloody crackdown followed. it would take months before gadhafi was capture and killed. >> oh, my god, the building is going to fall. >> a massive wall of water swept ashore along japan's northeastern coast surging well inland sweeping away cars and boats and homes, almost anything in its path. >> march 11th, scenes of utter devastation as an earthquake measuring 9.0 spawns a tsunami and the walls of water heavily damage nuclear reactors and for weeks the japan government and its people feared the worse, massive radiation leaks. >> these people are very resilient and working very hard. there's a lot to deal with.
to see what they've been dealing with over the last couple of days -- >> april 25th, a tornado outbreak across the southeast leaves more than 300 dead. [ applause ] >> one of the greatest days i can remember in my lifetime in this country, quite remarkable. >> we're going to bring you the pomp and pageantry, the moment of the day -- >> april 29th, prince william married his long time garl friend kate middleson, a commoner at westminster abby. they took a pageant filled ride through the streets of london. >> tonight i can report to the american people and to the world that the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden, the leader of al qaeda. >> tonight the president of the united states saying almost ten years after 9/11, justice has been done. osama bin laden is dead. that is why you see that
happening right there. in lafayette park across the street from the white house. >> the hyper overdrive this morning, i can tell you that. this has come as a real bombshell. >> may 14th, the head of the international monetary fund, dominique strauss-kahn is plucked from a flight minutes before takeoff. a hotel maid in new york accused him of sexual assault. the charges were later dropped. >> it was really unbelievable to even hear this this morning. quite a bombshell this morning. they are breaking a story out of california that the former governor, arnold schwarzenegger. >> actor arnold schwarzenegger confesses to fathering a child outside of his marriage and the two later announced an end to the marriage. >> as to the charge of first degree murder, verdict as to count one, we the jury find the defendant not guilty.
>> the devil is dancing tonight. >> may 24th, casey anthony goes on trial for the murder of her little girl caylee in orlando. shock and outrage when a jury clears her of the crime six weeks later. we've got breaking news. let's get straight to the hill. dana bash, i'm wondering if this has to do with anthony weiner. >> i spoke to a knowledgeable source who tells cnn that he does plan to resign from congress. >> may 27th, congressman anthony weiner embroiled in a scandal after a lewd picture sent on twitter resigns weeks later. >> i'm announcing my resignation from congress. >> breaking news tonight, a major arrest in one of america's most wanted criminals. >> june 22nd, fugitive no more, alleged organized crime figure james whitey bulger wanted for at least 19 murders is caught in
california. >> two, one, zero and liftoff! the finali liftoff of "atlantis" >> "atlantis" shifts off at kennedy space center, the final launch of the shuttle program. >> the shuttle spreads its wings one final team. >> a scandal brings down a storied tabloid. >> july 10th, at 168 years in existence, rupert murdoch's paper shuts down. >> two explosives have rocked sen central oslo. >> july 22nd, terror in norway. in oslo a bombing kills eight people on a nearby island, at least 70 people, many of them
youngsters attending a political youth camp are shot to death. it stuns the tiny nation. the accused attacker is described as a right wing christian extremist. >> well, you have just seen the first half of the year. so what about the rest? our countdown continues next. not quite knowing what the next phase was going to be, you know, because you been, you know, this is what you had been doing. you know, working, working, working, working, working, working. and now you're talking about, well you know, i won't be, and i get the chance to spend more time with my wife and my kids. it's my world. that's my world. ♪ that's my world.
♪ sen♪ co-signed her credit card - "buy books, not beer!" ♪ ♪ut the second at she shut the door ♪ ♪ girl started blowing up their credit score ♪ ♪ she bought a pizza party for the whole dorm floor ♪ ♪ hundred pounds of makeup at the makeup store ♪ ♪ and a ticket down to spring break in mexico ♪ ♪ but her folks didn't know 'cause her folks didn't go ♪ ♪ to free-credit-score-dot-com hard times for daddy and mom. ♪
through july. now joe johns picks it up from here. >> it's a remarkably iorta vote for the country. it to the floor for the first time. >> august 1st, a rare moment for capitol hill. >> a breaking move that could impact your credit rating. >> a big blow to the world's largest economy. america's credit rating is downgraded from aaa to aa plus. standard & poor's downgraded the credit rating to get a handle on the credit rating problem. >> steve jobs, the ceo of apple incorporated resigned.
>> jobs died october 5th. >> in new york city, they are regrouping from occupy an nar key. there were scuff ples with poli, blocking traffic and subways. >> the occupy wall street movement takes steam and protesters take a stand against what they think is corporate greed. it even spreads to other countries. >> breaking news for you, the hikers have been released. shane bauer, josh fattal having been in captured in iran since 2009. >> this is giving rise to expectation. these are the people who are feeling that their leader has put them on the map. >> september 23rd, after years
of failing to reach a peace deal with israel, the palestinian leader asks the u.n. to recognize palestine. the request fell on deaf ears on the security council. >> let's start with breaking news. it's pretty big. an american citizen linked to al qaeda has been killed. >> acceseptember 30th, a drone s the life of al-alaki. he was an american citizen. >> he is free after more than five years in captivity. >> october 18th, israel releases more than 1,000 palestinian prisoners in exchange for just one, held by hamas for over five years. >> the college sports world is reeling from accusations against the lions football team.
>> november 6th, the former assistant football coach at penn state, jerry sandusky, is charged with abusing as many as ten young boys over a span of 15 years. the scandal brought shame to the school and ended the year of legendary coach joe paterno. >> we the jury in the above entitled action find the defendant conrad robert murray guilty. >> conrad murray is found guilty over the death of pop star michael jackson. murray got four years in prison for the crime. >> it's happened again. another child sex scandal at a major university. a college basketball coach accused of abusing a basketball boy for more than a decade. >> november 17th, two men appear on espn accusing bernie fine of sexually abusing them. later, a tape surfaced of fine's wife, in which lori fine appears
to know about her husband's alleged abuse. >> we're following a couple of breaking stories here in the cnn "newsroom." first, we want to tell you about the former illinois governor, rod blagojevich. he has just been sentenced to 14 years in prison. he was convicted of corruption charges, including trying to sell president obama's senate seat. >> the war in iraq is officially over. u.s. troops are moving across the border into kuwait. >> and what this means is the last convoy, the last, last, last anything you can imagine in terms of the military is crossing into kuwait. >> december 17th, the final american combat troops in iraq depart, ending american's long war there. >> joe johns, cnn, washington. >> certainly was an incredible year and it's not over yet. it's no secret that
congress' approval rating is lousy. just how bad is it? also, we're getting word that speaker john boehner will address the payroll tax situation. first, the karma bus takes out two he grinches who were accused of stealing during the holiday season. turns out they went to the parking lot and discovered someone had broken into their car, stolen their other items. apparently what goes around really does come around. here's your 15 minutes of fame. and now it's up. people with a machine. what ? customers didn't like it.
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a new poll reveals how americans really feel about washington politicians. paul steinhauser is joining me from the political desk in washington. this is going to be a good one, isn't it, paul? >> yes. let's talk about the president's rating. take a look at this. brand new out two hours ago, the president's approval rating now at 49%. look, it was at 44% back in november. disapproval down to 48% and it
was at 54% in november. the payroll tax cut may be feeding some of this. a crucial indicator in how his re-election chances are. the election is long, long way away. rick santorum running for the presidential nomination, former senator from pennsylvania today getting -- >> paul, i'm sorry. i hate to interrupt you. but the president is in the briefing room. so obviously there to talk about the payroll tax cut. let's listen. >> voted to prevent 160 million working americans from receiving a tax increase on january 1st. nearly the entire senate voted to make sure that 2 1/2 million americans were out there looking for a job don't lose their unemployment insurance in the first two months of next year. and just about everybody, democrats and republicans, committed to making sure that early next year we find a way to
extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance through the end of 2012. but now, even though republicans and democrats in the senate were willing to compromise for the good of the country, a faction of republicans in the house are refusing to even vote on the senate bill. a bill that cuts taxes for 160 million americans. and because of their refusal to cooperate, all those americans could face a tax hike in just 11 days. and millions of americans who are out there looking for work could find their unemployment insurance expired. now, let's be clear. right now the bipartisan compromised reached on saturday is the only viable way to prevent a tax hike on january 1st. it's the only one. all of the leaders in congress, democrats and republicans, say they are committed to making sure we extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance
for the entire year. and by the way, this is something i called for months ago. the issue is that the republican and democratic leaders of the senate worked on a one-year deal, made good progress, but determined that they needed more time to reach an agreement and that's why they passed an insurance policy, to make sure the taxes don't go up on january 1st. in fact, the house republicans say they don't dispute the need for a payroll tax cut. what they are really trying to do, what they are holding out for, is to bring concessions on democrats on issues that had nothing to do with the payroll tax cut. issues where the parties fundamentally disagree. so a one-year deal is not the issue. we can and we will come to that agreement as long as it's focused on the payroll tax cut
and unemployment insurance and not focused on extraneous issues. the issue right now is this. the clock is ticking. time is running out. and if the house republicans refuse to vote for the senate bill or even allow it to come up for a vote, taxes will go up in 11 days. i saw today that one of the house republicans referred to what they are doing as "high stakes poker." he's right about the stakes, but this is not poker. this is not a game. this shouldn't be politics as usual. right now the recovery is fragile and moving in the right direction. our failure to do this could have effects not just on families but on the economy as a whole. it's not a game for the average family who doesn't have an extra thousand bucks to lose. it's not a game for somebody
who's out there looking for work right now and might lose his house if unemployment insurance doesn't come through. this is not a game for the millions of americans who will take a hit when the entire economy grows more slowly because these proposals aren't extended. you know, i just got back from a ceremony at andrews air force base where we received the colors that our troops fought under in iraq. and these americans and all americans who served are the embodiment of courage and selflessness and patriotism and when they fight together and sometimes die together, they don't know and they certainly don't care who's a democrat and who's a republican and how somebody's doing in the polls and how this might play in the spin room. they work as a team and they do their job and they do it for something bigger than themselves. the people in this town need to
learn something from them. we have more important things to worry about than politics right now. we have more important things to worry about than saving face or figuring out internal caucus politics. we have people who are counting on us to make their lives just a little bit easier to build an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded. and we owe it to them to come together right now and do the right thing. that's what the senate did. democrats and republicans in the senate said, we're going to put our fights on other issues aside and go ahead and do what's right. on something we all agree to. let's go ahead and do it. we'll have time later for the politics. we'll have time later to have fights around a whole bunch of
other issues. right now, though, we know this is good for the economy and then went ahead and did the right thing. i need the speaker and house republicans to do the same. put politics aside, put aside issues where there are fundamental disagreements and come together on something we agree on. and let's not play brinksmanship. the american people are weary of it. they are tired of it. they expect better. i'm calling on the speaker and the house republican leadership to bring up the senate bill for a vote and give the american people the assurance they need in this holiday season. thank you. >> well, surprise, top of the hour. the president speaking for six minutes, essentially speaking
directly to the speaker of the house, john boehner, who by the way we are waiting to hear from as well in just a matter of minutes. the room is quickly filling up. that perhaps means his presence is imminent. the deal is this. and wolf blitzer, you're standing by and we can talk through this as we wait for the speaker of the house. the deal is, the president is clearly frustrated that the house has yet to take up this bill to extend the payroll tax for two months. i know that there was a conference call in his caucus over the weekend and he was one of the leaders of the house expressing this two-month deal and now he's saying we don't want to kick the can down the road. we need a year extension. so, wolf blitzer, what gives? >> it's real brinkmansship. they are eyeball to eyeball in the democrats and the senate and
in the house of representatives of the united states. in that corner are most of the republicans in the u.s. senate and some republicans in the house. but on the other side is the house republican leadership, john boehner, the speaker, eric cantor, the majority leader, and the others. largely because the caucus, the republican members, most of them didn't like this deal, this payroll tax extension to begin with. they didn't think it was a great tax policy. having said that, they thought they passed legislation for a year long extension of the payroll tax cut and they sent that to the senate. the senate didn't take that up even. they came up with their own version. they thought the democratic and republican leadership of the senate, they thought the house would go along. 89 members of the house passed t but guess what, over the past 24, 48 hours, the republican leadership in the house said they don't want it. they want to go to conference.
they've got until december 31st. bring the senators back. work on a deal for a year-long extension as opposed for a two-month extension and that's where it falls right now. the other democrats you just heard the president say, if they don't pass this two manufacture hont extension and at least let the payroll tax cut continue for 160 million americans, at least keep it for two months and in the next two months you can come up with an extension for the next ten months of the year. the republican leadership says they don't want that. they don't want to kick the can down the road. they want a full deal. that's where it stands right now. so they've got until december 31st to fix it although this is a critical moment. they are eyeball to eyeball. the republican leadership is coming up with something because they don't want these guys to leave. they don't want them to go back
to their districts without a deal. because if the taxes go up, if there is a tax increase on january 1st for 160 million americans, most of them, at least according to the polls, will blame the republicans. they won't blame the democrats. >> yep. we heard the president at the end saying, there put politics aside. please to the republican-controlled house, put up this senate bill for a house. and the house did vote, and in pointing that out, i'll bring in indicate bolduan. the house voted but it was a motion for this to be taken up by the senate house conference committee on something that senate majority leader harry reid is saying thanks but no thanks, correct? >> that's a pretty great summary, brooke. what the house did today was they did not vote directly. they did not directly vote on this measure. as you heard the president say, bring this up for a vote. what the house did was basically essentially a procedural
maneuver to reject the senate short-term measure without having to kind of outwardly reject it. in this vote they say that they disagree with the senate measure and want to go to conference, which he is democrats and republicans would come together as they were pointed and hash out their differences. what this appears to do and why it's kind of backwards and a little convoluted, what this appears to do in the house is allow the house to show that the senate measure did not have support but also protected house republicans from having to vote on the records, be on the record voting against the payroll tax cut extension, which could be seen as thus voting for a tax increase, which you know that democrats would use some of their fire, especially in an election season going forward. so that's kind of where things stand in the moment. they did go to house and rejected the senate measure. wolf said it.
i know you're saying the same thing, what is next? the stare down is essentially continuing and neither side is ready to budge. i'm very much looking forward to see what john boehner has to say now. >> so as we await house speaker john boehner, we can see the room filling up more as we are about to hear from him and we'll take it live, do you have any intell as to what he might be saying or do we anticipate that he's going to underline, it tal size the point that he's been making over the past 48 hours? >> aides have not tipped their hats as to what would be saying but i would not expect a game-changing announcement. if the republicans are going
toex tend it, they want to extend it to one-year deal. they all want a one-year extension. republicans, as you all know, don't want to do this two manufacture month extension. democrats say that they want the assurance of having this two-month extension in place to make sure that the tax cut doesn't lapse and then they will reopen the negotiations. i think it shows the absolute lack of trust between the two parties here. especially the two chambers in the leadership in the two chambers as this battle has absolutely drawn out and gotten to a level of brinksmanship that i don't think anyone anticipated, brooke. >> we are 11 days away from this payroll tax cut expiring.
also, wolf, hammer this home for me. the stakes are so, so, high. this is a hypothetical "if" game. how do republicans, democrats, use this as ammunition come november? >> well, it will be great am mu nigs for the democrats because they will blame the house republicans. republicans are not in control of the senate. the democrats have the majority in the senate but they do have the majority -- a lopsided majority in the house of representatives. and the president in his own re-election campaign and in districts all over, will hammer allowing taxes to go up for 160 million americans. they will blame the republicans and hit them hard. i think it's one of the factors why, in this new poll, this new orc poll that we released a while ago, brooke, the president's job approval rating has gone up to 49%. it's not fabulous but it's certainly better than the 44% that its was back in november.
i think it's in part because he's pushing really hard for this payroll tax cut to be extended, at least for another year. it's probably helping him in his bid for re-election. it's going to put a lot of pressure on the republicans. the speaker i think will say, the house of representatives passed legislation increasing the payroll tax cut, extending the unemployment benefits, going at and fixing this medicare payment for doctors so medicare recipients will continue to get their medicare availability. they also included a poison pill, as far as what the white house was concerned, forcing the president to make a decision on this oil pipeline from canada towards texas in the united states. the president wants to hold off until after the election on whether it comes -- here we see the speaker. he's got a lot of republicans --
>> backing him. >> let's listen in, brooke. >> the president -- the president and leaders of both houses of congress have called for a year-long extension of the payroll tax credit. the house has passed a bill that would do just that. it would extend and reform unemployment insurance, protect social security, and create jobs. we're proud of the bill that we passed. the house passed it with bipartisan support. we also understand the senate passed a different bill. we oppose that bill because the two-month extension will create more uncertainty for job creators in our country when millions of americans are out of work. the payroll processing company says that the senate bill is
unworkable and so complex that many americans may not even get the tax credit. so today we have voted to go to a formal conference to resolve the differences between the two bills. this is a system that our founders gave us. it's as old as our nation and as clear as the constitution. our house gop negotiators are here and ready to work, whether counterparts in the senate, to resolve the differences as quickly as possible. our negotiators are kevin brady, david camp, renee umber, tom price, tom reed, and greg walton. now it's up to the president to show real leadership. he said that he won't leave town for the holidays until this bill is done. the next step is clear, i think president obama needs to call on senate democrats to go back into
session, move to go to conference, and sit down and resolve this bill as quickly as possible. i sent a letter to the president today asking him to do just this. we've done our work for the american people and now it's up to the president and democrats in the senate to do their job as well. that w that, i will take a couple questions. >> senate democrats are not coming back, and does this mean that tax cuts are going to -- >> we have done our job. all we need now is to resolve our difference. a two-month extension is nothing more than kicking a can down the road. the president has asked us to do this for a full year. we have done it for a full year. we have offset the costs with reasonable offsets. there is no reason why we can't do this. you'll remember several weeks ago, the house had passed a d.o.d. authorization bill, the senate passed theirs, and in a
period of less than a week they were able to resolve big differences in these two very large bills. there's no reason why we can't resolve this in short order. >> we'll get a deal here, let's sit down and resolve this. would you shot forth ahead with a conference committee or is that just a facade if they said to get this worked out? >> there's a lot of ways to resolve this. we will do it in ways that we call regular order. if there's a difference between the two houses, we sit down and resolve those two differences. >> are the house members going to go home for the holidays until this is resolved? >> our negotiators are here, ready and able to work. the members of the leadership will be here, ready and able to work. will be available to do what needs to get done. but the issue now is will them
bring them to the table so we can resolve this and give to the president what he has asked us to give him, a one-year extension of these expiring programs. >> the president of course has just said that -- he appealed to you personally and said i need john boehner to help out. >> i need the president to help out, all right? [ applause ] >> mr. speaker, i had a question. any chance of you taking up the senate bill? >> the senate bill, we've already taken up the senate bill. we rejected the senate bill and we moved to go to conference. under the rules of the conference, that means that it's on the way back to the united
states senate. >> the senate passed a two-month bill. is the timing -- is the length of compromise in question? >> the senate voted oh to give out a $166 tax cut. we voted to give the american people a $1,000 tax cut. we're going to insist on doing this the right way. >> what makes you feel that you can actually do that from now until new year's? >> we have not been working on this for weeks. i want to make it clear, i told both leaders, senator reid and senator mcconnell, there would be no negotiations with the house until such time the senate passed a bill. i meant what i said. and when they were getting ready to pass this and somebody passed on to me what they thought it would look like, i made it clear
to them at that point that i was uncomfortable with where they were going. i expressed my displeasure and once again taking the convenient route and not doing the people's work. thanks, everybody. [ applause ] >> all right. this whole payroll tax cut coming to a climax. as we continue to cover this back and forth, we have jessica yellin for us at the white house. also, we have kate bolduan and wolf blitzer. wolf, let me begin with you. we just heard there from the speaker of the house essentially saying he sent a letter to the president saying, get your senate democrats back together. we need to talk about this. again, standing behind the fact that he wants this deal and he wants a year and two months
isn't going to cut it. >> well, and he went further. he was very specific in saying, these are the rules. when the senate passes one version of ledge slag, the house passes a different version of legislation, there has to be a conference committee. senators and represents getting together, working out differences, then they pass whatever agreement they come to, they send it to the house floor, the senate floor, they vote up or down. if it passes, it goes to the president for signature. now what the speaker has now done -- and this is precisely according to the rules, he says, we don't like what the senate passed but we're willing to have a conference. let's resolve this. we have until now until december 31st. he then read the names of the house referees ready to sit down with the senators to go ahead and work out a deal. the pressure is now going to be on harry reid and mitch mcconnell for that matter, to name senators who will in the comes days sit down with these
representatives and see if they can come up with an extension of the payroll tax cut. if they don't, by december 31st, and the president hasn't signed it into law by december 31st, it won't be extended and 160 million americans will see their taxes going up starting on january 1st. they agree they don't want that to happen. so the next question, what the speaker has now done, is thrown the ball back to harry reid and say, here are our conferees. they have until december 31st. go ahead and they can work out some sort of compromise between both chambers and then up and down votes between the senate and the house. the house, for all practical purposes, has gone into recess even though they have not technically gone into recess. technically just to keep it
going. so the pressure is now going to be on harry reid to come up with conferees. if they don't, everyone has blinked that the american people will suffer as a result. >> wolf, thank you. indicate bolduan to you. now that house speaker boehner has said harry reid, you need to appoint your conferees, let's chat, even though the senate democrats say that they are not coming back, if these two sides come together, if they begin to talk, then procedurally then what happens? >> reporter: up here miracles can happen if the two sides want to agree. we know that when there's a government shutdown that we're facing. procedurally, going to conference it could take days with a lot of the procedural votes that, quite honestly get
in the weeds. the reality is that our viewers care about, at this moment, of course things change, but at this moment and it has been for days now, harry reid has given no indication appoint these conferees. because their point is the following. harry reid says that we're ready and willing to negotiate the deal that all of the leaders want when the house votes to put this two-month extension in place to ensure that there isn't a lapse in this tax break. and so that's really where his firm position is and senate democrats have given no indication that they are going to be moving off of that point. the fuel to their fire is that we have already passed a
bipartisan compromise. rarely do we see a vote that is a benign nomination, if you will, go through the senate of 89-10 and it did over this weekend with a lot of republican support. >> kate bolduan, thank you. wolf blitzer, thank you. i'm going to give jessica yellin the last word. before we talk, i just want to play a little bit of sound from president obama when he popped up in the daily briefing and i think we can all agree that everyone is agreeing that the one thing in common is that the clock is ticking. take a look. >> the clock is ticking. time is running out. and if the house republicans refuse to vote for the senate bill, or even allow it to come up for a vote, taxes will go up in 11 days. i saw today that one of the house republicans referred to what we're doing as a high-stake
poker. he's right about the stakes. but this is not poker. this is not a game. this shouldn't be politics, as usual. right now the recovery is fragile but it is moving in the right direction. our failure to do this could have effects not just on families but on the economy as a whole. >> so jessica yellin, the president there essentially tossed the ball to the house speaker. house speaker tosses it to the senate majority leader. now what? >> reporter: well, from the white house the president is using the bully pull pit to put all of the pressure on the house to act now and we've seen over these past few months that his messaging has been somewhat effective of doing that as the latest cnn polling has shown and what he is saying is that there is not enough time to essentially craft another compromise. we have seen how these compromises have gone. they have worked hard and now it's up to the house or taxes will go up.
this is a two-part message. one, on the policy, the compromise is done, why shouldn't the house act and work on it while they sign the one-year extension. the other thing is, on the politics of it, in a sense there's a dare here. if the house of representatives doesn't like this two-month extension, then what they are saying shall -- the democrats are saying, go ahead and raise people's taxes. take a straight ahead vote and raise the taxes. and then they could be on the record expliciting voting to do that. they have dodged that so far. they are keeping up the pressure from this side of pennsylvania avenue for the house of representatives to get on the record one way or another on that direct question. >> it is a high-stakes day that would affect 160 million americans. jessica yellin, my thanks to you. and now, quite an hour it's
been so far. here's what else we have coming up for you. take a look. they are calling it dangerous, impossible. this blizzard that's rocking large parts of the country. we're going to take you live to one of the areas hardest hit. i'm brooke baldwin. the news is now. one long-time congressman says it's the most unproductive, most partisan congress he's ever seen. and now the bickering, the fighting, it's about to directly impact your paycheck. >> why can't you take yes for an answer? >> our members do not want to just punt. >> if congress doesn't come up with a deal, your taxes go up. we're live on the hill as time runs out. one leader in new orleans says crime's getting so bad, he's calling on the national guard to walk the streets. this, after aed to bler is shot to death during a drive-by. >> crime is spiralling out of control. everybody's afraid.
>> i'll speak with that lawmaker, live. mystery surrounds north korea's new leder but one man says that he knows kim jong-un very well. what he says about kim's social skills and why he hated to lose. and -- >> his daughter, a college student, disappears but moments before she did, she left chilling messages about an encounter with a strange man. we're on the case.
a punishing storm is pounding the midwest. just listen to the wind here. it just looks cold. western kansas, people are socked in. highways are closed in the panhandle of texas. it's so bad that if you're planning to travel in the central plains, good luck. forecasters say it may be impossible. that interstate 40 from albuquerque to the state line was closed. zero visibility has reopened. north of there, in colorado, blowing snow, packed snow, a glaze of ice shut down i-25. and then you have the amarillo, texas area. officials calling it a whiteout. sharon watson is here from the state emergency office. tell me what it looks like where you are. where is the brunt of the storm?
>> the worst part of the storm is in the western part of the state, southwest, around garden city and also up near colby. i-70 had to be closed but it's just reopened. a significant number of roadways are drifting due to the winds so as much as five and six feet of drifting snow in parts of western kansas ranking from a couple of inches to a foot of actual snow. >> do you anticipate -- you mentioned a significant number of those highways still closed. any clue as to when you may be able to reopen them? >> several have been reopened but of the larger highways, i-70 is one of those, certainly the highway department is working as fast as they can to reopen those roadways. there's just a lot of snow to move and so a lot of work ahead of them and, of course, the more
wind and a little more snow is coming today so that's impacted the progress as well. >> what about just people? anyone still stranded or in trouble? >> there were some shelters that were opened as a lot of the highways closed overnight. and so we have some of those areas that we're checking in with to see how things are going. certainly we knew it was coming and we're urging people to avoed traveling to western kansas until things get better. >> be patient and be safe. now this -- >> the city council vows an oath and they promise two things to protect the constitution of the united states of america and the constitution of the state of florida. and i believe that he violated his singular oath by stripping people of their right to speak. >> find out why this priest was booted out of a city council meeting in florida, next. woman: day care can be expensive.
a city council hearing turns contentious. this whole thing started during a public forum in pensacola, florida. a priest took to the stand and was angry and he was escorted out during an open forum earlier in the week. monk argued that hall violated their right to a free speech. >> you don't have the right to determine what type of speech people are going to have when they are addressing the government for a redress of
grievances. it was a sick and gross abuse of power. >> your time is up. sit down. >> no, i have a minute and 12 seconds left. >> i'm ruling you out of order. >> well, i am absolutely within order. >> so nathan monk doesn't want to sit down. officers, you see them stepping in here, a couple council members get up and leave, not happy with the council president's action. monk goes out but not at all pleased with his treatment in there. >> the city council vows an oath and they promise two things to protect the skons institution of united states of america and the united states of florida. i believe that he violated his singular oath by stripping people of their right to speak. >> as for the members of the city council, they are divided as to how the situation was
handled it. >> everyone was a right to express themselves. we're not trying to stop them from expressing themselves. >> it is not acceptable to me. i will not tolerate it and i will speak out against it and do everything that i can to ensure that every citizens' rights while i'm on that council and even if i'm not on that council is protected. >> a statement was released on monday. i'm a firm believe in the right of free speech and freedom of ex prex, but i believe that free speech does not mean unrestricted speech. perhaps i was haysty but it is y right to restore order. monk holds nothing personal against the council but has concern of the censor ship at the open forum may become a habit. piers morgan testified today
at a government-backed investigation into unethical practices in the media. about 15 years ago, piers was the editor of "news of the world" and it recently closed after being accused of hacking into people's voice mails and story leads. the paper now at the center of this hearing. morgan left before they tapped into phones and has repeatedly denied any involvement with either paper. dan rivers is in london. dan? >> reporter: piers morgan appeared via a video link here in central london to answer questions about media ethics, tabloid ethics between 1994 and 2004. he's asked specific questions about his knowledge of phone hablg hacking, denying that he knew that phone hacking was going on at the daily mirror or
at the "news of the world" and denied that he ever ordered or condoned phone hacking in any way. things got quite testy when a question was asked and got down to details exactly how he came to listen to the voice mail messages of heather mills, the wife of sir paul mccartney, a former the beatles. he said he could not reveal it because it would betray the story. >> at one point paul left a message for heather on the phone. can you remember the circumstances? >> well, i can't remember where i was or who played it because that could compromise a source and i can't do that. >> well, i'm not sure about that, mr. morgan. you can discuss in general terms where it was, can't you? >> actually, no i can't.
>> it was a tape of a voice mail message, wasn't it? >> well, i'm not going to discuss where i heard it or who played it to me for the reasons that i've discussed. i don't think it's right and in fact the inquiry has already expected me not to identify sources. >> no, but i do think we expect you to identify what is obvious to anyone reading this is that you listened to a tape of a voice mail message. isn't that correct? >> i listened to a message, yes. >> it was a voice mail message, yes? >> i believe it was. >> reporter: also brought up was the voice mails of an affair of england football manager. piers morgan denied listening to the voice mail and says he can't remember advising johnson to change her mobile p.i.n. number as was alleged at a dinner
hosted by piers morgan at "the daily mirror." he was also asked about the testimony of one former employee, james hipwell, who says that phone hacking was routine on the showbiz desk of the dale ree mirror while piers morgan was in charge. piers again denying that he had any knowledge that phone hacking was being used to gleam stories from celebrities' phones. >> gingrich is running for president. have you heard about the strong feelings he's sharing about certain radical judges in this country? >> we have a 54-page paper outlining the historical background to balancing the judiciary so judges tell us what to do. >> newt gingrich basically wants judges making controversial decisions to be able to call before congress to justify their decisions. we'll tell you if that even
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have you heard about this? newt gingrich is raising the idea that so-called activist judges should be arrested. gingrich left congress years ago after losing support of his own party and his latest comments have given foder to his critics and giving insiders new reason for concern. this is how gingrich explained
his decision. >> one of the things that you say is if you don't like what a court has done, that congress should subpoena the judge and bring him before congress and hold a congressional hearing. some people say that's unconstitutional but i'll let that go for a minute. how would you enforce that? would you send the capital police down to arrest him? >> if you had to. or would you ininstruct the justice department to send the u.s. marshal. >> cnn's senior legal analyst, jeff toobin, the idea of sending them to appear to before congress to justify their ruling, sir, is that even constitutional? >> it's bonkers, crazy, nuts, never happen in a million years. this is oppose to 208 years of supreme court precedence and also against the commonsense of how our legal system works.
this could never work. >> bonkers. tell me how you really feel. we know that criticism is coming from both sides. do you think that with your experience, this is one of the stories that will just go away in the next news cycle or gingrich is going to have to take it back or explain? >> i think in the rush of a campaign people say a lot of things and most of it just sort of passes out with the tides. i think to the extend that this has a life, it will be to reinforce the perception as mitt romney has said that gingrich is a little zany. i don't think he's really serious about having judges arrested. but it is important to point out that conservatives over many years have been very upset about a series of supreme court decisions, row v. wade and i
think one of the bedrock principles of american politics has been that the courts are left alone, that the courts, they may make mistakes, may be wrong on occasion, but the other two branches of government do not interfere with the judicial branch which, since the decision of madison in 1803 has the last word on what's constitutional in our country. >> what would happen if a sitting president tried to subpoena a judge, pull him before congress and justify his decision? what could even happen? >> i think they could request judges to testify, but -- >> but to justify a decision? >> but this idea of force dg -- i'm sorry? >> but to justify a decision? >> but the idea that a subpoena
could be issued to ask another judge -- that's the only way to enforce a subpoena, to ask another judge to threaten a judge with refusing to come into court, never happen in a million years. that's why we have separations of power in this country. that's why it's the courts that decide what the law is. no subpoena to a judge would ever be enforced over that judge's objections. >> okay. jeff toobin, you say it's no-go and bonkers. >> bonkers is a technical legal phrase. >> technical legal phrase. thank you so much for calling in. hey, did you hear about this one? jon bovi was killed off yesterday. his response was hilarious. lady gaga's twitter account
thanks for staying up late to do this. >> thanks for having me. >> let's first talk about john bon jovi. >> he's the latest one to find out yesterday that he was dead. i wonder what that phone call sounds like. >> surprise. >> trending everywhere yesterday. he decided to respond on his facebook page with his fans by posing with a photograph letting everyone know that he was alive and well. >> here's the picture. >> in this piece of paper, heaven looks like new jersey. >> and i don't know about that but i thought it was smart that they put the date and time on the sign. >> right. it says, i'm okay. this is from a long time ago. exactly. >> lady gaga on twitter, which she has 17 million followers. she was offering ipads on this.
>> she was totally hacked. lady gaga has promised her fan that she is the one who tweets from the account. >> it's really her. >> it's really her all of the time. except for yesterday when it was hacked. she came on twitter and said we cleared up the hackers. but no ipad 2s for the hackers. sorry. they have fixed the problem and dell leeted the tweets. >> and finally the kardashians? >> here we go again. >> merry christmas from the kardashians. that's right. they all posed for their annual christmas photo. now, this year, if you get 3-d glasses, you can actually see it in 3-d, if you can believe this. >> only the kardashians. >> yes. and chris jenner, only wearing the pop of color. everyone else in their tilish
tuxedos and even the rest of the women and their show stopper mason always stealing the show from the kardashians is there, too. this is merry christmas and happy holidays from the family that seems to be part of all of our families. >> not that i'm getting a kardashian christmas card, we assume people have glasses laying around or -- >> i think if you have glasses, you can see it. >> jen hobby, come back. great to see you. thank you so much. >> thank you. now to this year, the troops are out of iraq, the flag is now home. president obama and vice biden took part in a ceremony marking the end of the war in iraq. the flag there presented to the president and that flew over the forces in baghdad.
isas many as 500 million trs have died in texas. the ongoing drought, as we've been reporting on, is the cause. that number makes up about 10% of all of the state's trees. candlestick park could have used a few more candles last night. this is wild. the lights went out twice during monday night football. you can see a transformer blew on the left side of the screen. the first blackout delayed the game about 20 minutes and then second quarter, there you go, lights out again. about 15 minutes later the lights were eventually back on and the 49ers pulled out the win. pacific gas and electric say they are not sure why the transformer blew. but only one customer. that really big customer, candlestick park, was affected. here we go, hour